Survived the Show

my artwork at 2016 St. Paul Art CrawlSo, I survived the art crawl.  And I’m not crashing as expected, so that’s great.

Still, it’s another nail in the coffin, finance-wise.  Covered my show expenses, but that’s it.  Not a good show.  If I don’t get in the fall local outdoor show, this might be the last one.

I watched dozens of people stop across the room and point at my work, then come closer.  Or pull their companion over to look and comment on it.  Lots of smiles.  I gave out a pile of business cards and answered commission questions.  I think two of them may actually call to commission work.  Someone said they want to buy something “as soon as they’re employed again” — and boy, can I sympathize.  Another person said he “might come back for that painting … and maybe that one.”  (Of course, he didn’t.  Then again, the odd security guy I didn’t think would come back for two teeny watercolor seascapes did come back on the last day…)

My point is, I got great feedback from customers, passers-by, and other artists.  They like my work, think it’s very good, and unique enough.  Some responded to the nudes, a few to the dance-themed pieces, and many, many people to the animals.  My prices seem to be in-line with other painters.  (Or even a tad low, but I’m really trying to move some of these pieces!)  Unlike the fall crawl, this time I saw many people walking around with purchased art.  They just weren’t buying my art.

It’s such a tough nut to crack.  I’m trying very hard not to take it personally, or feel like a failure (“they say they like it, but why don’t they want it?!”).  If we had the luxury, I could do more market research, try a few more things… but we don’t.  Bad shows and a few sparse months have given me a beating.  And really, we need cash-in, and soon: hospital bills going to collections, a sprinkler line leak, a blown tire, less tax back than we thought we’d get, and oh, yeah, we’ve basically eaten through our safety net.  You’d think we were approaching thirty, not the mid-century mark. That plus our combined health issues means we just can’t mess around like this anymore.

So.  I’m trying to convince myself I was lucky to have an opportunity to try this experiment after I lost my long-term design job.  It’s true; not everybody gets that chance.   I’m trying to tell myself even if I can’t/won’t go back to the physical strain of a full-time high-stress (and discriminatory) corporate design job, I have other employable skills.  At least I hope so.  I hope I can convince someone else in an interview.

And in the meantime, I still have a few small commissions trickling in, so at least somebody wants my work, right?

Okay, picking myself up.  Again.

I ain’t strong yet, but I hope to fake it.

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Old China Days

Has there been a day this week
I haven’t cried?
And not just the bad days.

Even the better ones
are old china plates,
pieces chipped off
here and there,
too fragmented to bother
saving for “best”.

And Tuesday?
Cracked across the middle.
Might as well
throw it away.

Cored

Somewhere, near the
core of me,
I've gone numb.
You can carve me up
and I won't feel a thing;
now when I delve inside for pips
I come up 
empty-fingered.

Apple, apple,
you are wise:
Will I wither or bear fruit?
Am I even alive,
or one big bruise
under my skin?

When I say I don't know,
I mean that.
I've been cored,
and there's a hole where
the answers are supposed to be.

(C) 2014 by Rosetti C.
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